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    So, potentially moving to New England, then?

    The missus is in the middle of a contract at a very nice company in the burbs north of Boston, and they seem to really like her and be on the verge of maybe offering her the CMO gig full time. After a shocking 9 months financially before this gig started, we’re at the point where sacrificing the freedom of the freelancey lifestyle for a really good job might make sense.

    So we might end up in the Greater Boston area. It makes all the sense in the world and I can easily intellectually justify it, but it’s still doing my head in a bit. I’m a little put off by the Massholes and Patriots and Red Socks and Seasons and that introverted smugness of people who think their mid-size city is the world’s most important rather than just the center of gravity for the region around it (not dissimilar to the way Manchester was when I was younger, but without even the balancing effect of having two football teams to ease some of the cultural conformity). I know loads of people love the place, though, so perhaps I’d learn to like it, too.

    Ease my concerns, OTF.

    #2
    I don't think anyone can help on the Seasons. Massholes gonna Masshole.

    The Patriots are definitely on the fade and the Red Sox just had their rather good leadership thrown out for being horrible cheats.

    So 2 out of 4.

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      #3
      Also, the percentage of Massholes in the general population isn't anything as large as one would be led to think from social media and the like.

      And the superiority is a ruse. Were you to live there, people would let on that they are fully aware of its provincial nature.

      Definitely not as cyclist-friendly, though. They can't drive to save their lives and those stone walls are unforgiving.

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        #4
        I reckon Boston would be an excellent place to live. Honestly. I think you can easily find a social circle which would be masshole free. (I really don't think that the vast majority of people are anything like as self important as you think they are. It;s way too close to New York for them to feel that). Obviously i can't help with the weather, but that's life.

        Which burbs? To the south, I reckon somewhere like Plymouth would be a good place to live, loads of nature around, perhaps some good cycling routes through national parks etc, coastal, so somewhat warmer (though not necessarily true when a nor'easter blows through).

        Edit: Oh fuck you said north of Boston. Not sure then. Gloucester?

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          #5
          Or you could just go and live in a cabin by Walden Pond. Or did somebody already do that?

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            #6
            The missus is in Medford or Malden, one of those places. I was thinking of those coastal towns like Swampscott or Gloucester, but that would be a really shifty commute for her. Current number one possibility is maybe somewhere around Andover. Friends have suggested Lexington, but that seems almost as comically overpriced as Cambridge and Boston itself.

            It’s definitely not as bike-friendly, even if you discount the seasons. The roads are too narrow and - worse - the drivers are rubbish. My experiences this weekend in Ubers confirm that is the case: Uber drivers are normally fairly competent, but in Boston they are terrifying. As was almost everyone else on the road.

            I actually agree with Ad Hoc that it’s probably a great place to live - it’s just that I have a decade or more of deliberately built-up prejudices against the place that I have to overcome.

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              #7
              It's not Connecticut, y'know.

              HP has the best local knowledge of any of us. I'm sure he will by later.

              Andover seems a strange choice for someone concerned about pretension, though I do guess that there is a real town there.

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                #8
                Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post

                Andover seems a strange choice for someone concerned about pretension, though I do guess that there is a real town there.
                In my defence, I don't know what any of the towns "mean". Apart from, perhaps, Cambridge and Brookline.

                Is Andover pretentious? I know there's some academia of some sort out there - and I often find myself drawn to academic towns. It looked like a real town, and the area around it was charming, and it's a straight shot on the 93 into hypothetical-work for the lady wife. And it's not quite as comically expensive as places like Lexington.

                BTW - I am greatly relieved that it's not Connecticut (with apologies to Caja) against which I have much more rational prejudices (like the fact that certain of my in-laws were back in court again today and I want to be as far away from them as possible). But I still have those Boston prejudices I built up because of my aunt who lives just west of town in a place that feels like decay and death; by a decade of gloating and offensive and monomaniacal Boston sports fans; by my wife's long connections to the city; by hearing the locals go on and on and on and on about their history, as if it was a really big deal going a long way back, rather than all very recent; by the deeply weird obsession with the terrible donuts and worse coffee and Dunkin...

                It's all actually pretty trivial stuff (apart from the seasons, which is a big deal), but isn't that what prejudices are? And it should be easy enough to overcome.

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                  #9
                  In "well educated" America outside of the Boston area, "Andover" is synomous with Phillips Academy, which is one of the most prestigious private secondary schools in the country.

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                    #10
                    Oh, I think Boston is a really nice City. It is about working out the right suburb unless you have quite a lot of money.

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                      #11
                      Ah! Andover is home to American-Eton? I can suck that up - I grew up in Oxford, which is adult-Eton.

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                        #12
                        They would be very happy with that characterisation, but it isn't one that their peers would accept and not really accurate, if only for the reason that there is no single institution here that is as dominant as Eton (much as American Oxbridge comprises more than two universities).

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                          #13
                          I thought Harrow was a brit equivalent to Eton, or am I wrong?

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                            #14
                            Not if you are counting Prime Minsters

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by San Bernardhinault View Post
                              The missus is in Medford or Malden, one of those places. I was thinking of those coastal towns like Swampscott or Gloucester, but that would be a really shifty commute for her. Current number one possibility is maybe somewhere around Andover. Friends have suggested Lexington, but that seems almost as comically overpriced as Cambridge and Boston itself.

                              It’s definitely not as bike-friendly, even if you discount the seasons. The roads are too narrow and - worse - the drivers are rubbish. My experiences this weekend in Ubers confirm that is the case: Uber drivers are normally fairly competent, but in Boston they are terrifying. As was almost everyone else on the road.

                              I actually agree with Ad Hoc that it’s probably a great place to live - it’s just that I have a decade or more of deliberately built-up prejudices against the place that I have to overcome.
                              I lived in Marblehead. It’s fantastic. I recommend that whole North Shore area.

                              Salem, Peabody, Danvers are closer to the interstate. Maybe that would be a better commute.

                              Lawrence is cheap and “up and coming.” Might be an easier commute on the interstate. I have an old friend there. Lots of Dominicans there if you like that kind of food.

                              Malden/Medford is probably outrageously expensive. Lexington/Concord is fuckoff expensive.

                              Andover sounds posh but I haven’t actually been there. Indeed, private schools have a similar (malign) influence on power structures in the US as they do in other countries, but it’s more diffuse. Even more diffuse than the influence of the most well-endowed universities.

                              I don’t know if there is more class division in New England than other places in the US or if felt that way to me because the first time I’d ever really encountered class division was when I moved to Boston in 1997.

                              People will think you’re odd for being from
                              somewhere else. But not odd in a bad way. Just curious. At least, that was the case in Marblehead. Almost every single person in my company there was from New England and most were from within 30 miles.

                              Yathinkyabetterthanme?
                              Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 22-01-2020, 03:20.

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                                #16
                                My big concern would echo part of what HP wrote: my sense is that the area is really, really expensive. But that's basically true for most cities where people would ant to live in the US.

                                I really like Boston. Good sports city, great punk rock city. That would cover about 50% of my needs. When I was there for the latter, I met a lot of people and that's not always the case in other cities where people tend to chat only with people they already know. And the T was easy to navigate. But all of this is Boston proper. I can't say anything about any of the surrounding towns.

                                Seasons do suck because winter-related weather basically eats up most of spring and sometimes fall slips into winter too easily. Really you've got 6 months of winter and 6 months of something better. I have come to absolutely hate winter. But if warmer climates haven't created opportunities for steady employment then I'd say, deal with winter. As much as I hate winter, I hate being in debt more. If you feel the same way, stay put and pray that the missus climbs high enough and can then land a job in a warmer weather locale.

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                                  #17
                                  I think you probably have to move in certain circles to associate some of these New England towns with the expensive private schools that sit in them. Every now and again I'd see one of these places driving through somewhereorother. I'd never heard of this school nor would I ever have associated the name Andover with such an institution. Andover to me was either that place named after Andover, Hants or the home of one of the US's less comfortable sexual practices, the Andover Fist.

                                  ​​​​​​Can you ski? That's how people with an outdoorsy bent get through winter. You'd only be a two hour drive from the southern Vermont resorts

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                                    #18
                                    I would posit that such circles would include virtually everyone living in such towns.

                                    They just aren't that big.

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                                      #19
                                      Yes that's fair enough. You'd probably have a hard time avoiding them if you lived there.

                                      Mind you I realise that I don't actually know where Eton is. Somewhere west of London is the best I can do. Probably not Slough

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                                        #20
                                        It's in Windsor

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                                          #21
                                          That figures

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                                            #22
                                            I've only been to Boston as a tourist so probably don't get a very rounded view of the place, but we stayed in Danvers and it felt fine - close to the coast and (at least when we were there) I-95 and route 1 weren't completely gridlocked. Google maps probably gives an idea of why Lexington is expensive - loads of green space.

                                            Given the number of craft beer producers in the area, maybe you should work out where to live based on proximity to decent craft breweries/ tap houses? Ideally via a cycle path or near a rail station given the comments about driving ability (although we didn't have any problem with the locals' driving - maybe that says more about how me and Mrs TrL drive than it does about them...)

                                            Occasional poster Exiled off Main Street can probably give you a few pointers if he spots this thread.

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                                              #23
                                              Massholes are actually pretty fun if you get to know them, which is really the hard part. The whole Greater Boston area is like one giant town vs. gown rivalry and the two don't mix that much. You need an in.

                                              The other thing is Boston has been on turbo-gentrification for about 15 years now. A lot of the city is unrecognizable to me now, and I'm somebody who went to Boston every summer as a kid, often for weeks on end (my dad was going back to school then, in the early to mid 90s). Like a lot of other cities, Boston before the infusion of global capital was a lot more fun. More down-at-heel, weirder.

                                              I think this is part of why sports has exploded to become the focal point of Boston identity (the other part being the obvious fact that they win all the time). It's always been a very good sports town, but sports is something blow-ins just wouldn't understand (because they're blow-ins and ergo root for someone else).

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                                                #24
                                                As a prospective blow-in, and one who would be effectively coming on the back of the influx of global capital, that's not altogether comforting...

                                                There is part of me that actually doesn't mind some gentrification. I feel that this is a little heretical on OTF, but I'm not always charmed by the grimy run-down crime-riddled decaying places of old. Boston feels like it has gentrified by pricing everyone out of the market without actually feeling much cleaner and more shiny and modern - the downsides of gentrification without so much of the upside. And I am a fan of shiny and modern. One of the things I like about being in the west of the US is that people are generally happy to tear things down and put something better in their place.

                                                ..

                                                I am not a skier. I can ski, but I tend to get bored after about 4 hours of skiing on any one year. I'm not really an adrenaline junkie so don't want to go faster or more off-piste than others; and then I'm on the friendly comfortable slopes and they get boring pretty quickly (and crowded). What I could find myself doing more of is cross-country skiing: I really am terrible at it and have shocking balance, but it feels like something I should be doing - effectively going for long walks in the snowy cold woods.

                                                ..

                                                Danvers is an interesting possibility - one of the missus's potential colleagues recommended it. I might mentally add it to the search radius.

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                                                  #25
                                                  I was going to recommend cross country skiiing or snowshoeing (which I find to be easier).

                                                  Vermont has a number of the country's best cross country/snowshoe trails and a very low key and welcoming culture. Franconia Notch, NH is also good in this respect. And there are plenty of green spaces in the Boston suburbs that are attractive in the winter.

                                                  I don't recognise the gentrified Boston that you are describing. Cambridge is quite bright and shiny, particularly down by MIT or in Porter Square. Back Bay is cutesy. If you think the city is grimy now, you should have seen it back in the day.

                                                  But then I am an innately urban creature. I just don't get the appeal of suburban life (especially as you don't have the classic " better schools for the kids" justification).

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